August '03

Eynsham Hall
Just another reminder that the national event is coming round very quickly and that we will have register parking available for 10 cars so please let me know of your interest if you would like to be have your car included on the register stand. I would particularly like to see a race prepared 968 if possible. And if anybody knows the contact details for somebody that owns one of the original turbos or possibly a converted one please let me know. I am also looking for a couple of volunteers who would be kind enough to spend an hour or 2 on the register stand on each of the days.
Please email me on

Lotus Cars
Through our business CarMatrix, my business partner and myself recently had the opportunity to visit Lotus Cars for a business meeting. The meeting went well and pretty soon we where having a tour around the factory. The production facility is now geared mainly towards the Elise in its different incarnations. The cars are hand built to very high standards and the development that goes into keeping the chassis and components lightweight as well as safe are intricate and very advanced.
Clearly the heritage of the company with its innovations in suspension, composites, aluminium chassis and bonding techniques as well as its racing history has all been utilized in the Elise. One particular facet of the car is its safety crumple zones, which can be simply unbolted and replaced if the worst should happen. We also saw how side impacts are dealt with by the chassis transferring the impact into different directions to keep the occupants safe.
The Elise uses the Rover 1.8 K series engine, quite adequate to make this lightweight car shift somewhat.
We also saw a Lotus Esprit V8 twin turbo in there for some final work on the paint that was destined for the US, awesome!
The factory is worth a visit if you get the chance.

Did anybody see my 968 in the Northants Evening Telegraph; they had done a feature on Rockingham on the weekend that the PCGB was there.

Turbo Conversion
I have in the past been asked how to convert a 968 into a 968 turbo, I'm no expert but one of the answers that has come forward is to simply take out the 968 engine and replace it with a 944 turbo engine, install a dual port waste gate, a replacement Garret turbo unit, an air induction kit and stainless performance exhaust, and voila, 300+ bhp. If you want to get it chipped and a MAF airflow unit as well, then you can be looking at 315 - 325 bhp.
Let me know if anybody out there has done a conversion on their 968 to a turbo. I'd be interested to hear the results. We could also put it into the Porsche Post. Email me at

968 Birthday Cake
Well I hit the big 40 on the 1st July, the cake cheered me up though, my wife found some pictures of the 968 and emailed them to a cake decorators, OK maybe they didn't get the shape exactly right (it looked more like a Vector in shape) but they did get the number plate on and they made a good effort with details like the sunroof and side indicators. No bee sting aerial though. Now where should I start?

Refurbished Wheel
I had one of my Cup 2 alloys refurbished recently they did an excellent job but it did come out slightly darker than the others so maybe the lesson is to have at least the 2 on the same side done at the same time or even all of them at once.

968 Shape
I went out for an evening drive recently to Stratstones the local Porsche dealer as it was the evening they where closed but I pulled up outside and got out to have a look what was on offer in the window. Having looked at the 996 GT2 that was in the window I was thinking that yes it was a desirable car to own just by virtue of what it can do, but then looking again at my 968 parked at the front it occurred to me once again what a beautiful shape it is, I keep it fairly well looked after so it still looks mint in it's Guards Red and every time I step past it in the garage I tend to run the back of my hand along the rear wheel arch flair which helps to make the look of 968 and the 944 so purposeful, am I the only one who does this? My wife says I have a fetish.

Just talking about Stratstones for a second, I had the 968 serviced there last year, when I came to take off the wheel to have it refurbished it wouldn't budge, the wheel and the hub where completely corroded together. After an hour of effort with soft mallet and penetrating fluid, I ended up putting the nuts back on finger tight then backing them off a quarter turn and then driving the car a short distance to dislodge the wheel. This worked and the wheel became loose. I contacted Stratstones and asked if they would normally not put any sort of barrier between the wheel and hub being dissimilar metals, this would be normal practice for me but they answered by saying that they would only do it if they had a problem getting the wheel off themselves. It sounded a bit like stable door and bolted horse type situation. Being an Official Porsche Centre with the obvious connotations of engineering excellence I would have thought that putting Coppaslip or some similar product between mating surfaces would have been standard practice. Does any body have any comments or anecdotes along a similar vane?

See you at Eynsham

Stuart Cookson-Smith

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